Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Spectacular Gabler Organ at Weingarten

The 1750 organ at Weingarten Abbey, Germany, is a baroque organ by Joseph Gabler with 4 manuals and nearly 7000 pipes, including a 49 rank pedal mixture "La Force" on the bottom pedal C.

HISTORY and SPECIFICATION Weingarten (Basilica)

In 934, Duke Henry founded an abbey that was transfered in 1053 to today’s site and was named “Weingarten”. Since 1056, Benedictine monks have settled here and built a new church and cloisters in 1124, one of the largest in Swabia. Since 1712, plans were underway to built the abbey church that is still in use today. The church was completed and consecrated in 1724. It is the largest baroque church north of the Alps. The architects were Christian Tumb and Peter Schreck. The west facade with the two towers as well as the dome above the crossing were built after plans of Donato Giuseppe Frisoni. The frescoes in the vaults and ceilings have been created by Cosmas Damian Asam, the choir stalls (1724) are carved by Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer. The towers house seven large bells (a″ - c-sharp′ - e′ - f-sharp′ - g-sharp′ - b′ - c-sharp″. There is an additional bell in the North tower (Hosanna bell, b°, weight of c. 6.500 kg, from 1490). Since 1922, 120 years after the secularisation of the abbey, Benedictine monks from Beuron are back in Weingarten Abbey.

to hear the spectacular vox humana:

BWV 1056

Earliest organs for the previous churches have been mentioned in the 13th century, replaced by new organs in 1561 and 1613. When in 1715 the old minster had been dismantled and was replaced by the present abbey church in 1724, plans were made for the building of a representative new organ. In 1729, the abbey chapter’s attention was drawn to a young organ builder, Joseph Gabler, who at that time just was working at the rebuiling of the organ in Ochsenhausen. Gabler was asked to repair the Weingarten choir organ, and after he done these works successfully and also completed the new organ in Ochsenhausen in 1733, it was decided in 1737 to ask him to built the new organ in Weingarten.

In a first contract from 1737, the organ should comprise 60 stops and some percussion stops like Glockenspiel, Cimbala, Rossignol, playable on four manuals and pedal. The compasses should have on the manuals C-c3, in the pedal C-g°, with all 12 chromatic notes in the lowest octaves . The wind supply system in the North tower should have 12 bellows. Most parts of the organ should be playable within three years.

But on December 2, 1737, a fire in the cloister buildings ruined these plans, because the abbey carpenters had to work exclusively at the rebuilding of the destroyed buildings. So, Gabler was asked to build a new choir organ in the meantime. But since the carpenters could not deliver these cases before the end of the year 1742, the completion of this organ was delayed, too. Nothing is left from this choir organ today, except for the wonderful baroque cases. Behind the facades, the organbuilder Reiser built a new organ with 46 stops on three manuals and pedals in 1937.


With a third contract, it was tried in 1741 to get the dead-locked negotiations for both organs moving again. Gabler was promised 10.000 guilders, but had to carry out further works without payment, such as some carvings in the facade, manufacturing the ivory keyboards and building a 3-stop procession organ.

In this contract, we can see Gablers sense for constellations of numbers:

Great Organ: 76 stops = 6666 pipes
Choir Organ: 24 stops = 2222 pipes
Total: 100 stops = 8888 pipes

After a fourth contract, dating in 1746, and a total time of 13 years of building the organ, finally, the great organ was completed and inaugurated on June 24, 1750.


Hauptwerk (I) C-c3

Praestant 16’
Principal 8’
Rohrflöte 8’
Octav I-II 4’
Superoctav II 2’+1’
Hohlflöte 2’
Mixtur IX-X 2’
Cimbalum XII 1’
Sesquialter VIII-IX 1 1/2'
Piffaro III-VII 8’
Trombetten 8’

Oberwerk (II) C-c3
Bourdon I-III 16’
Principal Tutti 8’
Violoncello I-III 8’
Coppel 8’
Hohlflöte 8’
Unda maris 8’
Salicional 8’
Mixtur IX-XII 4’
Octav douce 4’*
Viola II 4’+2’*
Cimbalum II 2’+1’*
Nasat 2’*

Echowerk (III) C-c3
Bourdon 16’
Principal 8’
Flöten 8’
Quintatön 8’
Viola douce 8’
Octav 4’
Hohlflöte II 4’(f)
Piffaro doux II 4’
Superoctav 2’
Mixtur V-VI 2’
Cornet V-VI 1’
Hautbois 8’ (new)

Brustpositiv (IV) C-c3

Principal doux 8’ (f)
Flaut douce 8’
Quintatön 8’
Violoncello 8’
Rohrflöte 4’
Querflöte 4’
Flaut travers II 4’
Flageolet 2’
Piffaro V-VI 4’
Cornet VIII-XI 2’
Vox humana 8’
Hautbois 4’
Carillon 2’ TF#

Hauptpedal C-d1
Contrabass II 32’+16’(f)
Subbaß 16'
Oktavbass 8’
Violonbass II 16’
Mixturbass V-VI 8’
Posaunenbass 16’
Bombardbass 16’
La force 49f (C) 2’
Carillon ped. 2’

Brustpedal C-d1
Quintatönbass 16’
Superoctavbass 8’ (f)
Flaut douce bass 8’
Violoncellbass 8’
Hohlflötbass 4’
Cornetbass X-XIII 4’
Sesquialter VI-VII 3’
Trompetbass 8’
Fagottbass 8’

Percussion stops: Cuculus, Rossignol, Cymbala, Tympan
Couplers: II/I, III/II, IV/III, IV/I, I/Ped, II/Ped, IV/Ped
Kronpositiv-Copplung, Brustpedal-Copplung
(f) im Prospekt
* placed in Kronpositiv
# placed in console


Gabler WeingartenChrist lag in todesbanden Danniel Chappuis
BWV 1056 Gabler Organ Weingarten BWV 1056
BWV 654 Koopman, Gabler organ Weingarten
BWV 653 Koopman, Gabler organ Weingarten, Bach
BWV 645 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
BWV 645 Johann Sebastian Bach
BWV 645 "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme"
BWV 549 Praludium in C minor (Koopman)
BWV 546 Fuga, Koopman, Gabler organ Weingarten, Bach
BWV 546 Fuga, Koopman, Gabler organ Weingarten, Bach Category: Music Tags:
BWV 546 Fuga Koopman Gabler organ Weingarten Bach
BWV 546 Praeludium, Koopman, Gabler organ Weingarten, Bach
Bach 534 Piet Kee, Gabler in Weingarten (modified Mean tone with mild wolf, Kammerton La = 419 Hz)
Pachelbel - Praeludium, Fantasia Piet Kee, Gabler in Weingarten (modified Mean tone with mild wolf, Kammerton La = 419 Hz)
Concert la mineur Bach-Vivaldi André Isoir Bach prélude & fugue en mi mineur André Isoir
Bach "In dulci jubilo"André Isoir
JL Krebs Gabler Weingarten 3 Gerhard Weinberger
JL Krebs Gabler Weingarten 2 Gerhard Weinberger
JL Krebs Gabler Weingarten 1 Gerhard Weinberger
JL Krebs Gabler iWeingarten Gerhard Weinberger
JL Krebs chorales Gerhard Gnann The immortal legend of Gabler in Weingarten
Gabler Weingarten Vox Humana
Gabler-Organ Weingarten

click to enlarge

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